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News, The Snitch John Waters Berates <i>Baltimore Sun</i> for Reassigning Former <i>SF Weekly</i> Film Critic Michael Sragow

John Waters Berates Baltimore Sun for Reassigning Former SF Weekly Film Critic Michael Sragow

John Waters gained fame as a movie maker by exposing archetypical America as stupid and bogus. But Waters spoke out earlier this week to praise former SF Weekly critic Michael Sragow using terms incongruous to his typical critique. Waters applauded Sragow…
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Film,

Jonathan Demme's First Talking Heads Interview

In February 1984, I went to Los Angeles partly to interview Jonathan Demme about the trouble he'd run into on Swing Shift, a dream project that, after star-dictated re-shoots, had turned into a nightmare. (Demme's own cut had been sublime,…
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News, Letters

Letters

Damaging a Perfectly Good Fence Is Not Funny As a novice columnist for the SF Metropolitan, I found Mr. Jon Carroll's writing advice very illuminating ("We Take Jon Carroll's Learning Annex Class So You Won't Have To," Dog Bites, Feb.…
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News, Letters

Letters

Lame Willy Just a quick note to wish you all luck in your joint suit against the city regarding the newsrack ordinance ("Why We Are Suing the City," Mecklin, Jan. 6). During my six years in San Francisco, I have…
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News, Letters

Letters

Drinks on the House In May, the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant was named "Best New Restaurant" by the SF Weekly Readers' Poll ("Best Of San Francisco," May 20). This represented a popular vote of your readers, our customers, who…
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News, Letters

Letters

Chronicle of Fear Kudos to John Mecklin for his brilliant, incisive article "Chronicle of Failure" (Mecklin, June 10) detailing the Chronicle's continued avoidance of publishing any negative news on Willie Brown. In my opinion, the main reason why the Chronicle…
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News,

Dog Bites

We Read Jon Carroll Wannabes, So You Don't Have To We felt a little guilty when it emerged that Jon Carroll had suddenly gone on vacation. Had we hurt his feelings with our inaugural "Last Week in Jon Carroll"? Well,…
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News, Feature

Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll. Korea.

A few decades ago, a controversial Bay Area critic named Pauline Kael -- yes, the same wild original who went on to become Pauline Kael -- wrote an excoriating review of the San Francisco International Film Festival for a now-defunct…
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Film,

Second Time Around

Crossroads Two grins compete for the comic face of popular culture: the idiot smile of those who refuse to see bad news, and the steady beam of those who see through it to better times ahead. The 1936 Crossroads, like…
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Film,

Tribute

Little Big Moviemaker Barry Levinson's Diner won plaudits like "minor miracle" when it opened in 1982. The qualifier "minor" turned up because critics like myself who loved the film didn't want to burden it with overly high expectations. Of course,…
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News, Letters

Letters

A Message to Michael I read Michael Sragow every week because of his pop-culture-essayist aspirations -- hell, the man doesn't even pretend to be a critic anymore. Like his fellow critics-cum-essayists Greil Marcus and Greg Tate, Sragow is eager to…
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Film,

Second Time Around

The Phantom of the Opera Alone among the old horror standbys, the Phantom of the Opera is a man among monsters -- a disfigured musical genius named Erik who wreaks havoc in that most stylish of cultural haunts, the Grand…
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Film,

Tense Alliance

Blacks and Jews -- the title suggests a blunt attack on the tensions between two groups that once joined hands and now butt heads. But this feature-length documentary, screening four times at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival before airing…
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Film,

Second Time Around

The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage The sight of a man consumed in the act of creation becomes tumultuously moving in The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage, a lyrical, crystalline 34-minute documentary that features joltingly fresh images of…
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Film,

Second Time Around

Christ Stopped at Eboli Francesco Rosi's adaptation of Carlo Levi's famous memoir is a secular miracle -- the director's masterpiece and a stunning introduction to his body of work (it's an opening-weekend attraction at the Pacific Film Archive's Rosi retrospective).…
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Film,

Second Time Around

Blood in the Face A raw documentary about American hate groups like Aryan Nation and the American Nazi Party, Blood in the Face is an untidy, gutsy work in the cautionary tradition of Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here. The…
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Film,

Second Time Around

The Unbearable Lightness of Being The social drama was the easiest part to grasp, yet it was also the least celebrated aspect of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Philip Kaufman's thrillingly intelligent, keenly emotional adaptation of Czech expatriate Milan Kundera's…
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News, Letters

Letters

Butt Out That was a nice piece of city color on billboards ("Where the Coppertone Girl and Carl Lewis Roam," Unspun, Feb. 12), but -- what's this? More cigarettes and booze? Free ads for Lucky Strike cigarettes and Absolut vodka…
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Film,

Second Time Around

Henry V Kenneth Branagh's first (and best) movie is his churning, ambivalent 1989 rendition of Shakespeare's great national anthem, Henry V. The young casting in critical parts -- Branagh was 28 when he made the movie, the real Henry was…
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Film,

Second Time Around

Diabolique Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1955 exercise in terror is the dankest movie of all time, and one of the creepiest. Water in mudholes, bathtubs, sinks, and a swimming pool, medicines dispensed from eyedroppers and needles, doctored whiskey, and even photo developer…
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